How-to: Face your fear and start running

face your fearAnytime we even think of starting something new, it can be overwhelming.  Whether it’s heading back to school, tasting a new vegetable or trying a new activity, it’s usually the build-up and anticipation that’s more frightening than the actual event.

A fear to start running is certainly common.  “There’s no way I can run a mile let alone a 5K!”  “I don’t have and can’t afford the proper gear.”  “There’s not a good time to start.”  There are a lot of things that can hold us back…or so you think.

There’s no way I can run a mile let alone a 5K!
What about one block?  Do you think you could do that?  Many successful runners started with baby steps.  Next time you’re on a walk, try to run just one block.  After walking a few more blocks, try running 2.  This is a great way to face your fear and introduce your mind and your body to running.  Once you accomplish adding a few blocks to each walk, transition to minutes.  Walk four minutes, run 1 for a total of 30 minutes. Once you’ve got that down, transition to walking two minutes, running 3.  Start small and build up.  It takes time and practice but the victory feels so great!  Throughout it all, continue to push yourself and make achievable goals along the way.  And while you’re at it, set a big goal too!  Register for a 5K that’s a few months out so you have something obtainable to aim for. Did somebody say Turkey Trot?!

I don’t have and can’t afford the proper gear.
Beginner runners don’t need all of the bells and whistles that long distance runners use during their training; so don’t get bogged down in running clothes and gear just yet. Instead, prioritize finding yourself the right running shoes. They will truly impact your experience.  Head over to a running store like Running Fit or Hansons Running Shop and get properly fitted. A good running shop will be able to assess the right shoes for you – how you walk, run and even stand can determine what your needs will be. Remember, when it comes to running shoes, focus on function over fashion and start out with something that feels supportive and comfortable.  It will make a huge difference!

There’s not a good time to start.
Actually, now is the BEST time to start!  Fall in Michigan hosts the perfect temperature for a run.  And let’s not forget the view.  Don’t worry, people won’t be looking at you – they’ll be looking at the beautiful leaves turning colors!

Even experienced runners say the hardest part of a run is…actually starting the run.  So yes, the first step is always the hardest.  But just as kids have recently survived (and loved) their first day of school, you, too, will survive…and LOVE…running!

Photo credit: Rennett Stowe

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